JUICE Craft to Search for Life on Jupiter’s Galilean Moons
The European Space Agency plans to send the JUICE (short for Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) spacecraft on an expedition to three of Jupiter’s 79 moons for various reasons—one being the potential for life. As the vessel’s name suggests, it will be surveying the icy Galilean moons—from deep ice wells on Ganymede, to an ocean on Callisto and abnormalities within the “most promising place to look for life beyond Earth” on Europa. Space agencies from the US (NASA) and Japan (JAXA), and a contractor from Germany (Airbus Defence and Space) will assist on the mission which is set to launch in 2022 and arrive in Jupiter’s proximity in 2029. Read more at Inverse.
Image courtesy of ESA
All-Black Staff to Run David Zwirner’s New Gallery
Helmed by Ebony L Haynes (formerly the director at Martos Gallery and guest professor at the Yale School of Art), the newest David Zwirner gallery will be run by an all-Black staff. Zwirner tells The New York Times that he and Haynes began discussions in January, and after she explained her vision, he decided to offer her full autonomy over the still-unnamed Manhattan space. “There aren’t enough places of access—especially in commercial galleries—for Black staff and for people of color to gain experience,” she says. “I want to make sure that I provide a space full of opportunities and encourage them.” The new gallery will host four exhibitions per year, release publications and offer paid internships for Black students. Find out more at The New York Times.
Image courtesy of Elliott Jerome Brown Jr via David Zwirner
James Thornhill’s Free Zine Celebrates 40 Years of the Casio Keyboard
Music journalist James Thornhill has created a 20-page zine in celebration of the iconic Casio keyboard for its 40th anniversary. Printed in partnership with the instrument company, all 1,000 copies of the zine are free to claim for UK residents today. Once all are accounted for, they’ll be posted. Inside the publication, Thornhill spotlights vintage ads, details how each model was designed and highlights its contributions to music by various artists—including the likes of Leonard Cohen, Salt-N-Pepa, Nine Inch Nails, Beck and others. For those outside the UK, Casio produced a site with similar contents. See more at It’s Nice That.
Image courtesy of James Thornhill / Casio
Vincent Namatjira Becomes First-Ever Indigenous Australian to Win Archibald Prize
First awarded in 1921, Australia’s Archibald Prize for portraiture had not been won by an Indigenous Australian until this year. For the piece “Stand Strong for Who You Are,” beloved artist Vincent Namatjira painted himself alongside former AFL footballer, anti-racism advocate and 2014 Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes—who faced immense racism during his career, from fans and within the league. In the portrait notes, the artist says, “When I was younger and growing up in the foster system in Perth, Indigenous footballers were like heroes to me. Goodesy is much more than a great footballer, though—he took a strong stand against racism and said ‘Enough is enough.’ I stand strong with you too, brother.” This year (which set a record for entries) was the fourth time Namatjira (whose works oftentimes inject a cheeky sense of humor into more poignant messages) was among the finalists. The artist says, “It only took 99 years. I’m so proud to be the first but I also have to acknowledge all the Indigenous finalists and Indigenous sitters for this year and past years.” Read more at The Guardian.
Image courtesy of Vincent Namatjira, photograph by Mim Stirling/AGNSW
NASA Ships its Space-Ready Bathroom to the ISS This Week
Finding the perfect toilet for space has stumped researchers and designers at NASA for some time—so much so that they opened a crowd-sourced design competition looking for a better option. Now, NASA announces, they’re going to send a new bathroom option to the International Space Station. The $23 million set-up proves 40% lighter and 60% smaller (by volume) and helps NASA reach its goal of 98% water-recovery for future deep-space missions. Plus, the new toilet’s construction is much more resistant to corrosion and wear, rendering it less likely to need maintenance in space. Read more at Travel + Leisure.
Image courtesy of James Blair / NASA
Super Enzyme Capable of Speedily Breaking Down PET
The Centre for Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth announced a new discovery this week: a “super enzyme” capable of breaking down plastic to its building blocks at a rate six times faster than their previous innovations. This comes just months after French research organization Carbios announced a similar discovery, which they plan to test at a plant in 2021. While promised to be similarly speedy, Carbios’ formulation uses PET hydrolase, while the University of Portsmouth relies on a combination of PETase and MHETase—”effectively stitching the enzymes DNA together to create one long chain.” This implies, if all of the testing goes well, that PET (the most commonly used thermoplastic) could be properly recycled—and with minimal energy. Read more at CNN.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Highlights from the 2020 Beijing Auto Show
Originally set for March, the Beijing Auto Show is on now and marks the first large-scale trade show for the industry since the onset of the pandemic. It makes sense that this be the first, given the industry’s reliance on Chinese buyers to rebound the global economy—and especially the car market. There were a handful of notable unveilings—Kiwigogo’s flying concept, Citroën’s smart tire prototype and the ultra-long-lasting Beijing Radiance EV, to name a few. Porsche allowed visitors into their booth but also offers online users the opportunity to maneuver their vehicle virtually. BMW revealed the first of 17 new models set to debut in China in the next 12 months. Huawei teased an intelligent cockpit that operates on an Android competitor. Read more at Bloomberg.
Image courtesy of Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images
The Bushcamp Company’s Fundraiser for Their “Begins At Home” Charity
Typically, The Bushcamp Company‘s charitable initiative, called Begins At Home, remains financed thanks to a daily fee for safari attendees. As expected, the number of tourists, and thus the amount of money raised, is exceedingly low this year so they are hosting a two-month-long fundraiser, with $50 donations adding up to 10 entries in a competition to win a week-long safari stay for two—with accommodation, activities, meals and drinks all included. We stayed at the Bushcamp Company’s lodge in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, in 2012 and couldn’t bear to see Begins At Home arm—which supports education, wildlife, land conservation, infrastructure and health programs—go unfunded. Read more and enter the competition at their site.
Image courtesy of The Bushcamp Company
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